Is it just me or do you also get confuse of United Kingdom, Great Britain, London and England? Like, which is which?
So, United Kingdom is the sovereign state that has 4 countries. Great Britain is the largest island in the British Isles(group of islands in the corner of Europe). Great Britain houses the 3 countries in UK which are, England, Scotland and Wales. The 4th country is Northern Ireland. Although they are called countries, the rules and policies are still under the UK. That’s why, the whole name of UK is United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. UK is like USA and the 4 countries under UK is like the 50 states of USA. While London, is the most popular city of England. So, if you have the United Kingdom tourist visa, you can visit England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland but not Dublin since it is in Republic of Ireland, which is not part of UK. Woooooh!!
Moving on, having a Philippine passport living in Norway, doesn’t make it easier to have a United Kingdom tourist visa. But if its your lifelong dream to visit UK, would you not put out all the means and travel as soon as possible? Well, I’m glad I did.
First, applying for a UK visa is expensive. It costed me roughly 14000 PHP (270USD) for 6 months tourist visa. So when I decided to apply, I just closed my eyes, tapped my shoulder and told myself ‘Dream mo yan eh, chase your dream, chase London!’ 🙂 For comparison US visa costed me just half the price and with 10 years visa validity! But, no regrets! 😀
*Visit their site if you want to apply for one http://www.gov.uk. They have trip advisories for every country in their site, as well. Very helpful and I use it all the time.
My first and last stop. This is why I love London so much. London is Big Ben. The House of the Parliament. I can still remember meeting the Great Bell. I swear, mas natulala pa ko sa kanya than the first time I saw MJ. Hahahaha! The only building that took my breath away…Yung nasabi ko talaga sa sarili ko ‘Thank You, Lord!’ Imagine, all your life it was just on pictures then finally right in front of you. Ang ganda!
By walking further, you’ll see the Westminster Abbey. The home of the royal weddings. Super sad, that it was under renovation the time we were there 😦 Just saw the front part but I was still occupied by Big Ben, that I didn’t had pictures.
When you cross the bridge from Big Ben you’ll see this…
Took the underground metro to the London bridge. OK. Taas ng expectation ko dito. Hahaha! I’m like others who mistaken the Tower Bridge as the London Bridge.
Well, London Bridge is not as fancy as the other one but it is part of everyone’s childhood. 😀 ‘London Bridge is falling down’ was dedicated to the realistic attempts made when the bridge collapsed hundred years ago.
At my back is the London Bridge and me walking and posing over it 🙂
We then made our way to the Tower Bridge and due to laziness, we chose to admire it from afar.. Just watching the bridge to open for ships is amazing..
We went back at our hotel at Best Western to freshen up. The inside of our hotel and the rooms were fine but the neighborhood was not the most friendly. I mean, nothing happened to us but going back or leaving early from the hotel was fearsome. It was because of mixed cultures and people staring at you. Good thing, the place was a residential area so metro, malls, restaurants were just steps away.
I managed to book Broadway tickets, just 3 hours before the show. We were not fans of theater but I just can’t leave without watching at West End and not seeing a Broadway show in ‘Theater land’ is a NO! 😀
We (or should I say I) decided to watch Wicked since the reviews were tiptop. MJ was amazed enough that he slept almost the whole time. Hahaha! I think I also slept at some point but due to flashy and booming effects it was not as full as his’ sleep. The lights, sounds and stage were more than enough reasons for me to stay interested. I was overjoyed to experience this. 🙂
Our Day 2 started at one of the 8 royal parks of London. They say royal parks were originally owned by the monarchy of the UK. Having the 8 big parks for the family to relax and unwind was one of the perks of having a royal blood. Was not our plan to visit the Regent’s Park but since we lost our way to the museum and to visit the park was free, then might as well check out where the queen goes for a walk. The place was SOOO BIIIG, it has a University, Zoo, mansion, sports facilities, formal garden, cafe, restaurant, theater, and more! You’ll probably need the whole day to appreciate everything.
One of my weaknesses during travelling is visiting the greatest museums of the world. Out of hundreds of museums in London, we chose National History Museum because we like dinosaurs and I grew up during the Jurassic Park movie era. Also, wildlife is never boring!!
Honestly, one of my concerns before going to London was not to find the classic telephone booth.. Hahaha! I didn’t realize that it was in every corner!
I can finally say that I went to London to visit the Queen! I mean, to visit the Buckingham Palace lang pala 🙂
One of our favorite movies is Paddington, that’s why we need to visit him!
Harrods was frustrating because it was out of our location and MJ was eager to mislead me from shopping. HAHAHA. Well, thank you boyfriend, I saved a lot hahaha 😀
When you only have 1 day to spend at the city that is endless, you’ll get stressed out and just want to visit every place..
Kicked off our day to..
The bright market road of Portabello
That led us to ..
..to the real Notting Hill Bookshop..Dreamlike ❤
To our favorite part.. FOOOOOD! Chineeese foood.. Chinatown 😀
To the Mother Church of London
St. Paul’s Cathedral
Just beside the cathedral is The London’s Millennium Bridge,
an easy access to the longest river in England.. Thames River..
And the view of the tallest building in United Kingdom..
Then to the public square surrounded by museums, galleries, churches and restaurants.
If you asked me 20 years ago of my dream city to visit, NO DOUBT it was London! If you ask me now of the city I will repeatedly visit and will never get tired of, ALWAYS LONDON. My favorite city, ever!